THEMBA Zwane chipped in with a goal and assist as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Polokwane City 2-0 at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Thursday evening, to book their place in the Telkom Knockout quarterfinals.
Sundowns will next face Tshwane rivals SuperSport United for a place in the semifinals.
Following a hour that failed to conjure any clear-cut chances, the newly crowned Caf Champions League champions turned on the style in five second-half minutes to pull clear of their opponents just outside the South African capital.
Pitso Mosimane largely stuck to the side that guided the Brazilians to a first continental crown with Asavela Mbekila, Thabo Nthethe, Tebogo Langerman, Hlompho Kekana, Tiyani Mabunda and Percy Tau all involved from the onset – having also done duty in Alexandria on Sunday.
One man who wasn’t involved for Sundowns in the Caf Champions League was Yannick Zakri with the Ivorian seeing his powerful shot blocked – the rebound fell favourable for Hlompho Kekana with the skipper driving his shot wide on 11 minutes.
Jabulani Maluleke looked Rise and Shine’s most likely outlet and after he saw his shot flash wide on 33 minutes, he came close to grabbing the opener on the hour mark. The former SuperSport United midfielder denied by Kennedy Mweene who got across well to his right to make a good save.
The yellow machine finally started firing with Zwane’s introduction, A flowing move – sparked by Percy Tau – finished off powerfully by Kekana in the 65th minute following a neat pass by the former Mpumalanga Black Aces midfielder, who had just made his way onto the park.
Provider turned scorer soon after as Zwane capped off a swift move down the right flank – Thapelo Morenoa putting it on a silver platter for his teammate who made no mistake from close range.
The defending TKO champions showing their class to advance into the next round of the competition to the delight of ‘Jingles’ and his technical team.
Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 2 (Kekana 65′ T. Zwane 70′)
Polokwane City (0) 0
Mamelodi Sundowns: Mweene; Mbekile, Arendse, Nthethe, Langerman – Morena, Kekana, Mabunda, Tau (Mohomi 78′) – Vilakali (T.Zwane 62′) – Zakri (Billiat 46′)
Polokwane City: Chigova; Semenya, Mbonani, Tema, Hlongwane – Manaka, Seabi (Kanyenda 77′), Maluleke, Mncwango – Jembula (Ndou 83′) , Tlolane (Ngobe 72′)
Meanwhile a seeding system was used to conduct the draw saw Sundowns being pitted against their Tshwane rivals SuperSport United with Baroka facing Cape Town City while the Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs were drawn against Highlands Park and Free State Stars respectively. The dates, times and venues for the quarter-finals will be announced in due course.-www.psl.co.za